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BUSINESS IN BRIEF

Mass. foreclosure filings rose 47% last month

THE REGION
Massachusetts foreclosure filings spiked 47 percent in March as many local homeowners struggled to make monthly mortgage payments. ForeclosuresMass.com, a Framingham firm that provides Massachusetts foreclosure data to investors, real estate professionals, and mortgage brokers, said there were 2,190 filings in the Bay State last month, compared with 1,492 for March 2006. March 2007 was the sixth consecutive month with more than 2,000 Massachusetts foreclosure filings, the firm said. For the first quarter, Massachusetts foreclosure filings rose 76 percent to 6,624, compared with the first quarter of 2006. (Chris Reidy)

Red Sox owner buys lot behind Boylston Street
The company that owns the Boston Red Sox has purchased a parking lot located near Fenway Park's Gate B, behind 249 and 255 Boylston St., said Janet Marie Smith, senior vice president of planning and development for the team. Developer Steven B. Samuels bought the buildings associated with the lot. No prices were disclosed. Also, Smith said there are no current talks ongoing with the owners of the nearby Howard Johnson Inn Fenway Park Boston to redevelop that site. She called Patrick Lyons's plans to rebuild and add restaurants to his Lansdowne Street clubs Avalon and Axis "very encouraging." (Thomas C. Palmer Jr.)

TD Banknorth will take 2d quarter charge for job cuts
TD Banknorth Inc., the US consumer-banking unit of Toronto-Dominion Bank, will take a pretax charge of $16 million to $20 million in the second quarter for job cuts and branch closures. The costs are related to the decision by the Canadian bank to buy the shares of TD Banknorth it didn't already own and delist the stock, according to a filing sent to US regulators. TD Banknorth said in March that it was closing as many as 24 branches and cutting 400 jobs as profit declined in five of the past seven quarters. TD Banknorth expects to record costs of between $40 million and $100 million in 2007 from the moves, the Portland, Maine-based bank said in the filing. (Bloomberg)

Schepens Eye is selling building on Staniford St.
The Schepens Eye Research Institute is putting its three-story, 68,383-square-foot Staniford Street building up for sale. Staubach Co., a real estate services firm, is representing Schepens, whose executives concluded they should capitalize on the current hot market for commercial real estate, selling the building and then leasing space back long-term from the new owner. Schepens, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School, also leases about 38,000 square feet of space in adjacent Charles River Plaza, a recently renovated commercial complex that itself is now on the market. Bids for the Schepens building, built in the 1960s and renovated about four years ago, are due in May. (Thomas C. Palmer Jr.)

Lodestar purchased for utility-customer pricing
Oracle Corp., the world's third-largest software maker, agreed to buy closely held Lodestar Corp. to bolster the range of products it sells to water, gas, and electric companies. The purchase of Peabody-based Lodestar is expected to close next month, Oracle said without disclosing a purchase price. Oracle said it expects Lodestar's 125 employees to join its utilities unit. (Bloomberg)

THE NATION

Neiman Marcus reports theft of personal data
A computer stolen from a Neiman Marcus consultant contained personal information on nearly 160,000 current and former employees, the luxury retailer said. The company said there was no indication yet that thieves had tapped into the personal information, which included individuals' names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and salaries. The stolen notebook computer belonged to a pension-benefits consulting firm hired by Neiman Marcus. (AP)

GM, AOL to form link for OnStar driving directions
General Motors Corp.'s OnStar service is working with MapQuest to let drivers link to their desktops. The automaker and the online mapping service of Dulles, Va.-based AOL LLC said the expansion of OnStar's in-vehicle navigation system is designed to let subscribers plan their driving routes at MapQuest.com and send information about their destinations directly to their cars. OnStar Web Destination Entry will be launched in a pilot program this summer with a random sample of 3,000 customers. It's expected to be available by year-end on more than 2 million GM vehicles with OnStar's Turn-by-Turn Navigation capability. (AP)

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